Reflection On Words

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Reflections on Iceberg Lake, Glacier National Park

Thoughtless words I say.
Careless tossing words about.
Not comprehending there is hell to pay,
When good is not what comes out.

Some words push life into darkness.
Some words bring about light.
Writing a story of sorrow,
Or one that shines in the night.

“It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.” Matthew 15:11 NLT

Killing Time Till I Die

Crystal clear water of Iceberg Creek

Crystal clear water of Iceberg Creek

This stream coming down from Iceberg Lake reminds me of a hiker I met on that trail. He had diabetes and lived out of his car. He had a little money saved, and with it was able to buy gas, food, and insulin. Stopping at various camp grounds his days were spent hiking the trails of national parks. As we hiked and talked he spoke of the many regrets in his life. He really wanted to do something meaningful, something to make his life worthwhile. After a pause he woefully admitted: “Right now I’m just killing time ‘till I die.”

How sad to wander through life with such an epithet. It made me think of my own life. How do I avoid falling prey to similar regrets? The pursuit of what seems worthwhile, only to find in the end that it is mirage, empty of any lasting purpose.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  John 10:10

In truth there is a spiritual battle going on. One side wants to steal and make my life worthless — “killing time, ‘till I die.” On the other side Jesus wants me to have a full life, a life with lasting significance.

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last.  John 15:16

This “fruit” is explained in the rest of John 15. The big thing for me is to know is life has a good purpose beyond the years of my existence an eternal purpose.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10

God has good things for me to do, so instead of “just killing time ‘till I die,” I want to follow Jesus, being filled with “living water” and flow like this stream — in the fullness of life.

The End of the Trail to Iceberg Lake

Iceberg Lake

Iceberg Lake

When I was young I wished to be older,

now that I am old I wish to be younger.

Life taken for granted is wished away,

until their is no longer room for today.

Ice floating on a lake is a metaphor for human existence “here today, gone tomorrow.” Psalm 103 reminds us of of this truth concerning life so that we might dwell upon what is truly important.

For he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, Psalm 103:14-17

Thank goodness the Lord’s love is from everlasting to everlasting. That love anchors each day no matter what comes. It is the living water for our dry days. It is the sun breaking through on our cloudy days. It is what gives us hope when all seems hopeless.  The love of God is the most important thing for each day of my life. It will triumph over my  yesterday, provide joy for today, and be my hope forever, even though I am melting away.

His love is given to us in Jesus Christ that who ever believes in Him will be saved and live in His love forever (John 3:16-17)

Traversing the Mountains (Ps.103)

Iceberg Lake Trail

Traversing the mountains along the Iceberg Lake Trail, Glacier National Park

After wandering through the trees the Iceberg Lake trail breaks out to traverse the slopes of mighty mountains. I feel so small.

He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:10-12

God through His love yearns to give us compassion and forgiveness. Not reluctantly, but in great quantity. These great mountains are dwarfed in comparison to the great love God has for those who fear Him (hold Him in highest esteem).

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him: for he knows how we are formed, he remembers we are dust. Psalm 103:13-14

God loves HIs children. He knows our weaknesses, our needs, and our failures. So when we humbly bow before Him, He treats us with compassion not as we deserve.

As I hike along the Iceberg Lake trail and marvel at creation, it puts me in awe of God, my Father, and His great love for me.

The Howling Wind (Ps. 103:5-8)

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The wind molds the trees along the Iceberg Lake Trail

Can you imagine the wind and harsh weather that molded these trees, but here they are  hanging on, some how surviving. We have to admit that what life throws at us sometimes makes us think we won’t survive … so oppressed we would rather die.

In the trek along Psalm 103 the next section extols the Lord’s abounding love and compassion. A love that helps renew our strength like the eagle’s.

Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Psalm 103:5-8

How does this help in our time of trouble, fear, high anxiety? By meditating on the goodness of God’s love found in 1 Corinthians 13

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

I can hold onto God’s love when the wind blows so hard I feel that I am about to crack because His love holds onto me.  Then instead of breaking I am molded into something beautiful like these trees along the Iceberg Lake trail.

Beautiful Iceberg Lake Trail

One of my favorite hikes is Iceberg Lake Trail in Glacier National Park. I would like to use the pictures from this trail as a metaphor for an even better hike through Psalm 103. Hopefully both hikes will lift your spirit as much as they lift mine.

The trail starts in a beautiful aspen grove with the early morning light just touching the tree tops like a crown.

Iceberg Lake-1

Aspen along the trail

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion. Psalm 103:1-4

As I gaze at this grove of aspen the more I remember of the crisp cool morning, the birds singing in the trees, the fragrant scent of the forest. In the same manner, the more I dwell on all God has done for me the greater my praise for Him.